The university had analyzed telephone and e-mail data of the professor to find the information leak. The court has now assessed this argument as unlawful, as it announced on Thursday.
The Administrative Court notes that the dismissal of Professor Ritzmann by the University of Zurich is thus null and void. The university dismissed Iris Ritzmann at the end of April 2014 because she had committed an official secrecy violation.
The university based the termination on a nationwide evaluation of telephone and e-mail data at the university and on evidence that the prosecutor had ensured during a house search at Ritzmann.
During the recourse proceedings, however, Ritzmann was acquitted of the allegation of official secrecy in the parallel criminal proceedings, because the public prosecutor's office had obtained the evidence unlawfully. They were therefore not allowed to be considered.
The Administrative Court concludes that the University should not have considered the unlawfully obtained evidence for termination. Without this evidence, however, the University of Zurich has no reason at all to initiate a dismissal procedure against Ritzmann.
The termination appears therefore completely unmotivated and thus arbitrary. The verdict is not yet legally binding. It can still be moved to the Federal Court.